On Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 3:28 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> How do you know the mice are conscious of infra-red light? If it were a
>> machine you would say it wasn't conscious, it just reacted to the light in a
>> way that superficially resembles consciousness.
>
>
> That's because we are obliged to give organisms like us the benefit of the
> doubt. The opposite is true of machines, where we have seen that their
> behavior has no basis in any innate sensitivity or agenda of the machine.

But how do you know other people and animals are conscious? Is it just
a guess? Could you be wrong about them? Could you be wrong about
computers?

It seems to me that you have in mind some test for consciousness. You
apply this test to animals and to machines and you conclude that the
former are conscious and the latter not. I hope the test is not
something like "is made of organic material, grows and maintains
homeostasis", because the objection to that is, there is no reason to
assume that these factors are either necessary or sufficient for
consciousness.


-- 
Stathis Papaioannou

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